The trial of a man accused of attempted murder began Tuesday in Harlan Circuit Court.
Boss Saylor, 75, of Wallins, appeared in front of Judge Marc Rosen to stand trial.
Saylor is accused of shooting Clifford Napier, 59, of Tremont, in the parking lot of the Pine Flat Baptist Church in September.
With the jury seated a few minutes past noon, opening statements began after lunch. Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs opened the case for the state with a short statement.
“We are here today on a search for the truth,” Boggs told the jury.
Boggs said the evidence will show that Saylor shot Napier three times in an attempt to kill him.
According to Boggs, the state intends to present a consistent case through witness testimony.
“You will hear the same story over and over again,” said Boggs.
In his opening statement, Saylor’s attorney Doug Asher told the jury “you will make one of the most important decisions of your lives.”
According to Asher, a conviction could in effect mean a life sentence to his client, due to his advanced age.
Asher said Saylor shot Napier in self defense after Napier attacked him, calling the shooting a “clear case of self protection.”
The state first called Raymond Day, telecommunications supervisor for Kentucky State Police Post 10 to the stand. Day testified to the authenticity of a 911 call received on Sept. 19 and entered into evidence by the state.
A woman’s voice on the recorded 911 call can be heard stating excitedly “Boss Saylor shot my husband behind the church.”
KSP Sgt. Jackie Pickrell testified she had taken Napier’s statement at the scene, with Napier stating Saylor had shot him. Under cross examination, Pickrell testified she did not personally witness the shooting or what had happened immediately after.
Last on the stand for the day was the investigating officer in the case, KSP Det. Kenny Abner.
Abner testified he responded to the scene to find an ambulance crew working with Napier and troopers searching for a shooter.
According to Abner, he read Saylor his Miranda rights and questioned him about the incident.
Abner said Saylor denied having shot Napier during this interview.
Boggs, referring to an earlier statement by Saylor’s attorney, asked Abner to explain having asked Saylor what God would want him to do.
“Boss said he was a Christian,” said Abner. “I said ‘I’m a Christian too, and God would want everyone to tell the truth.’”
Abner testified the gun entered into evidence was not sent to the lab for testing because Saylor’s attorney had verified it was the gun used in the shooting.
Under cross examination, Abner verified that there is a possibility Napier was shot a few feet from where he was found, and that no test had been performed to determine how far away Saylor was from Napier when the shooting occurred.
Court adjourned with Abner still on the stand. Testimony is set to resume at 8:30 a.m. today.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, email@example.com